Flabbergasted.

The following piece is inspired by Jeanann Verlee’s 40 Love Letters and the rest as they say, is history. Any resemblance to characters living or dead is a matter of sheer coincidence (or maybe not)


 

Dear Mayank,
You were the first boy I gave my heart to.
You introduced me to the beautiful butterflies in my stomach when you smiled. My dreams changed from nightmares, to your lovely embrace. You made me look forward to my days and nights. You made me want to care about the way I looked. Hell, you made me a woman.
You taught me heartbreak.
I still remember your friend, I still detest your cowardice. You said you were sorry you didn’t have the courage to face me. You weren’t. You were glad you got rid of me.
You’re the gift of puberty and hormones. I hope you’re happy wherever you are.
We don’t speak anymore.

Dear Aman,
I remember that night when I spoke to you for the first time, and you said you would take me to be yours. You gave my sunken 12 year old heart a hope. You convinced my mind you weren’t joking.
You lied. I entered your friend circle as the joker in the pack of cards, a laughing bait. You used me, you said you didn’t realize. I bid you all goodbye.
I cried havoc when I willingly walked into a glass wall.
We don’t speak anymore.

Dear Gautam,
You were different, you were like a new light. You were a distraction. I’m sorry I wasted your time. You never liked me, I thought I liked you. Our friends were excited, the first time I met you, I snapped. You called me and said it wouldn’t work out. I was alright. Then you surprised me, you begged to not let it ruin our friendship, and I cried.
We don’t speak anymore.

Dear Tanmay,
You were the first one I could call mine. You taught me what it’s like to be someone’s. You taught me how to exchange blushes while walking past in the corridor. You are my first kiss. You gave me roses and chocolates. You hugged me so tight, our skins felt as one. You walked me around on your toes. You listened to me talk for hours about the music playing in the cafe. You giggled with me when my tongue turned blue and told me I looked fine when I was embarrassed. You walked around with me. You laughed at my jokes. You found me amusing. You told me you loved me. You taught me what lust meant. You made me crave you. You called me up in the evenings and laughed. You made me sing for you at the eve of your birthday. I spoke about what bothered me again, oh I brought up my sadness again. You spoke about your dreams and ambitions. I told you about mine. You were in it. You called me by your last name. I thought we were going to last. Four months down and I realized, I was just a replacement for your past. Our conversations were all about her, I now saw, I wasn’t curing your sadness anymore, your past was all that was going to last. You said you still loved her, but you wanted me to stay with you. You said you knew you sounded selfish, but with me you knew you could get through. You never loved me. I walked away. Like the last time you had, when I refused to kiss you.
I’m sorry I thought I could cure you.
We don’t speak anymore.

Dear Rajat,
You’re one of the most significant men in my life. You met me at a very strange time. Petrichor, you came in as a disguise. Best friends that shared everything. We were companions in sadness. I told you things I had never told anyone before. I thought I would never fall in love again. You were a child at heart that loved like a grown man. The way you’d hold me would spark a fire within my core. You were my first cuddle, I am your first kiss. You used to be my open book, you knew everything about me. You made my days brighter. You understood me, and I you. We talked all the time, through days and nights, and days, and nights, till we hit the rough patch. We drifted apart. I hit my misery, you returned to the dark. Nothing has ever been the same. “Our relationship is ruining us.” Slice, and I bleed. How could something that made me want to live, be ruining me? I changed, and you couldn’t swing with the tide. “You don’t understand.” Funny, because I thought I was the only one that did. You’re the bonsai I can never uproot.
I’m sorry, I thought you could save me, I forgot I was my own superhero.
We don’t speak anymore.

Dear Ankit,
What can I say to you. I’m your victim. I mistook refuge, for cure. One rainy evening in the street, and I haven’t felt the same about you since. I still feel like you used me. I know I did too. I feel my soul is stained forever, but it isn’t your fault.
You whispered in my ears that you loved me, I smiled I couldn’t say it back.
We don’t speak at all.

Dear Faiz,
Life was a chaos when you came around, but you brought some sense to it. You’re always going to be special, in every sense. Thank you for putting up with me through everything, you saved a boat from sinking. Mischief managed.
33, 5th April.
We don’t speak anymore.

Dear Atharv,
“Have you ever been in love? When you stay up nights crying because they said words that reminded you how far you’ve come and made your life better. The kind of love that makes you break your own walls and insecurities and pull them in to keep them forever? The love that makes you so happy you could cry and scream to the world that you could never be happier. Love, that makes you go by every second of the day with your own indignities being your strengths? Been in a love that makes you be a better person without the slightest pressure from them. The kind of love that makes you want to live all over again just to experience it from the beginning.”
“I’ve always felt it since the very beginning that there’s something between us, different and that can’t be put to words. Like magic, but only better. I can say this, without a doubt, that all I’ve had before this, has just been me being in love with the idea of being in love. This, is just you. I’m insanely in love with you.
I’m sorry if this all sounds like a lot of pressure, I know how much of work it is to be with me. How I get completely impossible and unreasonable most of the times. I know I probably give you more reasons to worry than to laugh, but I swear, I’m really trying my best to work on it. I want to be all that you need. I know you’ll always want the best for both of us and that’s why I want to keep trying. Someday soon, I’ll not just be trying but being that way too.”
“about us i dont know… I am sorry if you feel i am bailing out when you need me or i am being all selfish.. i guess i am!!
Could we take a step back and just be friends for a while?”
“I’m the overly attached one, but damn it, even you can’t deny that what we have or feel is something different. Why else are you not able to say No? Why else do we end up bumping into each other’s lives so much? And when we do, why can’t we keep our hands to ourselves? It’s true, face it, there are parts of us, that still ache when we’re away, and I hope as much as you do that they die soon.
Some sparks don’t turn into flames, no matter how long they linger, no matter how much they shine.
I hope it doesn’t take too long for me to let go.”
You’ll always be my favorite muse, I have nothing else to say to you.
We don’t speak anymore.

Dear Siddarth,
At times, change isn’t about a new version nor a replacement. Maybe, from what I’ve learnt, change is about the way we look at things. Maybe change is about benefitting from the old and enhancing the new. Maybe change isn’t about erasing the past and writing a different version of the future.
Sometimes, it’s about knowing what you’ve had all along and recognizing it in an unfamiliar fashion. It could be that change is for the better, if you want it.
It could be everywhere and nowhere. It could be moving a step ahead or ten steps behind.
It could be about the same smiles, the same words but with a faith that you couldn’t have felt with anyone else.
You made me fall in love with the rain, and when we’re together I feel like I can ignite a fire in it. You’ve showed me a new side to love, one I feel gifted to receive and kind to nurture. You make me feel sane in my blood and bones and I can never let that go.
Thank you, for reminding me that I’m worth it.

 

Dear Mayank,
I stopped eating the day you left me, I haven’t eaten well since.

Dear Aman,
I still hear them laughing at me. Them all, even though I’m surrounded by empty walls.

Dear Gautam,
You don’t matter anymore. You’re just a story. I hope you’re happy wherever you are.

Dear Tanmay,
I don’t believe in commitment because of you.

Dear Rajat,
I changed.

Dear Ankit,
I hope this never happened.

Dear Faiz,
I’m still a wonderwall, just not yours.

Dear Atharv,
You’re my favorite story.

Dear Siddarth,
There are better things that await you.

Dear next story in line,
I hope you realize, I’ve picked every shattered version of myself to form stories and riddles and knit every puzzle piece in tact.
I’m not the kind of girl who plays hard to get. I’m easy to please, but almost impossible to convince. I can be astonishingly understanding about things you fear to admit but be stubborn over my opinions on matters you couldn’t care less about. I don’t make much of anniversaries, but there will be nights when I could be pouring everything I ever want to tell you. I might walk into our first date and talk only about the music playing. I probably will never buy you gifts but write letters full of words that could give you tears. I could say all the perfect words you ever want to hear and act flawlessly crass in the moment of time. I make too much out of firsts, but nothing out of the next, yet you’ll realise over time, no two honest moments with me would ever be the same. I’ll make you count your breaths like the stars in the night sky and kiss you under the streetlights of places you’ve never been. I could show you the brighter side of life and you’ll end up believing it to exist within you too. Like the happiness in warm blankets in the cold winter nights makes you think about holding me through the night. Like the break of dawn and chirping birds remind you of my laughter ringing in your mind. Like the thoughts and memories of my touch will send a chill down your spine and make you gasp and smile. I’ll be beautiful with and insanity without.
When I’ll be with you, everything would probably seem on pause but I would be impossible to stop. You could chase me all you want but you’ll fall out of breath only in admiration of who I am and your mind will breathe out the words, “Make her yours.”

Search.

One day, I decided that I had had enough.
I picked up my belongings and put them in a case and left for a long journey to find and search you out.
I was done waiting for you to arrive at my doorstep.
I met people, searched you in all of them.
I wrote poetry about their eyes and smiles, I shared the love of food, music and art with them.
I tried really hard to find you in them, but I couldn’t.
After a while, each time, I realized you weren’t here and I picked up my bags, said my goodbyes and started out on the journey again.
I went places, searched for you in corners and under trees.
I breathed in a fresh air each time, but the comfort of a hotel room bed couldn’t match the feeling of sleeping under the night skies.
The bread was toasted the wrong way in the cafe and the books didn’t smell the same.
Something was always wrong. I knew it was you again, missing still and yet to be found.
I ate the best food, listened to every tune that people suggested, read inspiring stories and painted all that my mind wanted to say, but nothing ever said it enough.
You were the missing piece in every puzzle.
Alas! Broken spirit, I returned, put my case back where it was and sat in the same spot where I had begun.
I looked up in the mirror and there you were, smiling back at me.
Dear happiness,
I found you, in the reflection of a dejected heart, in the eyes from where I see the world, in the lips that say the perfect things and the skin that feels every emotion.
I found you, in me.


Spoken word, performed at Open Sky Slam IX Bangalore, Urban Solace, 30/8/15.

6 post scripts from my suicide letter

So life, I’m sorry I’ve run out of the patience to handle your discrepancies, I know what it feels like when you’re so weak, every time someone tries you hold a grip over you, you only fall apart. I know the disturbance of blaming your own incapability for losing companions.
But I’m sorry, I’m too tired of being your better half.
I’m sorry, but this isn’t working anymore, we aren’t working anymore. It’s only best you and I part ways.
So dear life, I fare thee well, you’re the only one I owe this end to.
With the very last breath,
Aisha.

PS One
Did you know that ants don’t sleep and don’t have lungs? They carry weights twice their own size and are so tiny, they easily go unnoticed.
Yet, their one bite can bring the mightiest to tears.

You can stage thunderstorms if you just whistle to the wind, all you need is rhythm and dedication.
Sleepless nights, anxiety, carrying a heavy baggage on your shoulders and your tiny body does not make you weak.

PS Two
Clocks can’t work without a missing piece, even the most mainstream nut-bolt out of place can rupture its functioning.

You are here for a purpose. Just believe in your true identity and worth and it’ll lead you right to your destination. Each puzzle piece is always an exact fit.

PS Three
Science says, every action has an equal and opposite reaction.

A caterpillar shuts itself out into an ugly cocoon before it bursts out a gorgeous butterfly, ready to bask in the open world in all its magnificence.
It’s alright to shut yourself out sometimes, only when you take a step back, can you take two forward. Closing yourself out does not make you a coward, it only gives you the power to rejuvenate and shine brighter.

PS Four
Only accidents give superheroes their powers, without that they’re just born normal.

Disasters are what you make of them, only when a house is blown down by a hurricane can a new one be built. You will face failures, be ready to take the jolt and make the most of it.

PS Five
Borders between countries always fence each other away in defense, shielding them from calamities.
Yet, they’re called ‘Line Of Control’

Building boundaries to keep yourself safe does not mean you’re blocking the world outside, it is just you controlling the limits of your interactions. Sometimes you let them in, sometimes you don’t. Not everyone is the same, so learn to let your guard down at times. Your fortress is not your cage.

PS Six
3 key facts about hugging:
A. It increases Oxytocin which reduces stress and lowers blood pressure.
B. Hugging can stimulate the brain to release Dopamine, the feel-good hormone.
C. Hugs can reveal different levels of affection
A woman will tend to press her whole body against the person she cares most about.

Not everyone that tries to embrace you is going to gauge their expectations around you. You aren’t impenetrable, they might not be able to see through you, but they can soak all they see of you. At times, it’s only because  they want to keep together what seems to be falling apart.

PS Seven
You never really liked even numbers, did you?
You’ll always try to make two people- one unit,
Never mind the ones that leave you broken into halves,
you’ll always find a way to make yourself whole.
Life is more than the last boy and broken promises.
Infinity to you, is an odd number
and hell, you can’t step down for anything less.


Spoken word, performed at Open Sky Slam VIII Bangalore, The Humming Tree, 26/7/15.

Iris.

I shall never be the kind of woman that seeks validation.

Do not expect me to be ruffled under your wing,
feathers have the power to take their own flight.
Just because I have cracks within me,
does not rid me the power of reliability.

I’ll never be the kind of woman that seeks validation.

I’m more than just a spilled glass of water on the floor,
refused to be picked up, regressed to boundaries.
Being a woman doesn’t make me a mockingbird,
I’m more than gentle hands and soft words.

I’ll never be the kind of woman that seeks validation.

But I don’t expect you to understand.
How would you know what it’s like,
to be able to make castles out of wet mud baking in the sun,
when you’ve been slipping through fingers like beach sand all your life.

The letter to an ex

Not so dear a you,

I hope you’re out there being better and merry and have forgotten your little ‘mistake’ behind and are moving on. This, is in complete gratitude of that one sole thing I could commend you for. Thank you, for leaving your past behind, to become my present.

I’m sure you’ve heard about us by now. I know you’re dying to know who’s trying to fit in your shoes. You’re restless to find out if she’s better than you. You need to know if she wears better clothes, if she has a better taste in music, does she share more in common with him than you did? She can’t make him as happy as you did. You’re the best thing that happened to him. He loved you more than anything else and he said no matter what happened later, he always would. He said it. You remember him saying that really well. You remember his love. I shall tell you his pain.

He refuses to sleep at night, you might haunt his dreams again and strike him in agony. You have always been the reason he stayed up at nights. Then, in love. Now, in pain. He refuses to drop his defenses, you helped him be the architect to raise them higher than his self confidence. You managed to make him detest an existence he once counted on being the essence for his survival. You threw him to the dungeon again, where he had spent an eternity trying to figure out ways to rescue you from yours. You found ways to crack his skull, to engrave every bit of you there, so that he never forgets how loving someone so passionately could be a mistake. You didn’t teach him the difference between infatuation and love, he ended up learning love to be a curse. You taught him love would leave him stranded on his birthday. You taught him love would make him blame himself for its incompetence. You taught him love would never read his mind and know what he felt, just hear him out and do nothing about it. You taught him love would leave him to fend for himself. You taught him love would throw him into dirty misery. You taught him love could make him hate.

You taught him how love eventually dies.

It appalls me though, how you could walk out of something so beautiful. How could you leave behind someone so breathtakingly perfect and even think of climbing ahead. Every one wishes to go out into the world and explore, but in the end, the four walls one calls home is a place one never leaves. How did you get yourself to leave that comforting embrace that could save you from everything. Don’t those eyes just curdle your stomach and lock you in there, trapped to ever look away. Do you miss the oceans when you’re at bay, a voice that calmed crashing waves. How could you not crave to be with him all the time?

I’m picking up the pieces you scattered around. Like a hatchling falls off it’s nest and hurts a wing, needs to be cared for, nurtured and protected. I’m ending what you started. You burnt it all down to ashes, I’m raising a phoenix from it. I’m trying all I can, to heal him. But sometimes I feel like you’re in too deep. You’re engraved in his bones. I can pour acid over them and kiss them health, melting every bit of your harshness to replace it with my caress. I can sweet talk into brainwashing every neuron in his cranium, that still paints pictures of you. I could make him believe I’m all the things you couldn’t be. I could change to fit into your shoes. I could be all he wants me to be. Just like you. And I would have done it, if I didn’t love him like I do. I’m not you and I never wish to be either. You’ve been his idea of perfection for so long, that I had to be staggeringly abrupt to give him some hope. I had to be everything you were, and be nothing that you are. I had to hover over your shoes, but never fit into them. I didn’t have to change to be someone I didn’t want to be, and I never want to be you either. Even if it means not getting the love he worshiped you with.

I have no complaints though, just a promise. Not to you, but to that part of you that died a while ago. Addressing the girl within the woman, that loved him like no other, that wanted his happiness more than the next morning and to that girl that was his first love.
I promise to love him like you never could and I promise, I’ll never be the woman you are.

Yours, only in gratitude,
A gifted wonderwall.

Hex : Torn pages from a pacifist’s book

No one wants to hear you
No one wants to see you
So desperate and pathetic
I’m begging you to spare me
The pleasure of your company

I sipped a little on my freshly brewed cappucino and stared out the glass window at the people walking by. Oliver Sykes’s voice was blaring in my earphones and I wouldn’t feel shy to admit that it was highly pleasing a combination with the thoughts running through my head in the moment.

As I had walked into the cafe, I was greeted by the same guy that takes my order each time. He casually wished me and I was surprised at the thought that he remembered my name. He was about to pick up the Frappacino cup when I curtly went “Nananana nah. Something different today.” After a good three minutes of astonishment, he was ready to take my order. I walked to the table slid across the glass wall. Just one chair was occupied by a gentleman too submerged in a John Green E book on his laptop and occasional loud typing from his keypad. I walked across him and sat on the third seat from the left. I had picked up one sachet each of brown and normal sugar. I paused till Sleepwalking was done playing, dunked the entire normal sugar sachet in, stirred and after a sip of dissatisfaction, repeated the same with brown sugar.

That, was when I took the pains to actually look outside. A man sitting across the stairway was boring his gaze into my chest. I looked away casually. Filthy gazes are a part of survival for a woman. A little kid knocking at the glass door caught my attention. Yes, through the 30/30 volume and screeching, I heard the knock. She slowly licked the wall and pressed her cold nose on it. In a bizarre and unusual action, I ignored her. Usually, I would pick up the best representative of horror and try scaring the kid away. I looked to the left to find the parents casually slaking their arms around each other’s. That did it. I dunked my eyes into my phone and picked up lyrics that the song was now playing.

No one wants to hear you
No one wants to see you
So desperate and pathetic
I’m begging you to spare me
The pleasure of your company.

It was as though my father’s words were spitting at the back of my cranium. I slyly smirked. I looked up at all the people walking by. What if I was to plant a bomb in this place?

I imagined the glass shattering into thunderous little pieces. The insides of the man sitting by the stairway splintered across the spot he was once transfixed at. The foot of the little girl dawning a pretty shoe would be right across the walk-by. The couple that was so vivaciously entangled within one another would be thrown in two different directions. After togetherness of a lifetime, thrown apart in the last moment. The feathers of the geese near the fountain would be all over the place. The young teenagers smoking away would dawn faces as charred as their lungs. The lights across the entire path way would be busted and there would blood and shattered rubble everywhere. Sirens and cries would fill the entire atmosphere. Car alarms and shrieks from the crowd. The whitewashed walls would be smeared cold black. The whiff of the air would smell a crimson ash. The water from the fountain at least twenty odd people had been desperately trying to get a picture at would be in bits of shattered leaks and cracks. The entire walk around roof that connected the place to the IT offices would come crumbling down.
Whisking through it all, I would be floating in the sky, an apparition, giggling and smiling mischievously, I would look over the entire chaos, and as though enchanting a last finale of a hex, speak in the hoarsest of voice I can put up

I thought I’d buried you and covered the tracks.
You’ll have to take this with your cold dead hands.
I thought I buried you.
Where sin can never die.

I thought I’d cut you loose, severed the feeling.
I slipped through the cracks, and you caved in my ceiling.
I thought I buried you.
Where sin can never die.

“Can you tell from the look in our eyes? We’re going nowhere!” I smiled to myself and walked into the dark alleys of the localitywhere my house was sucked somewhere within. The same old words, the same old day with the same old people.

New music, new thoughts, new ways to deal with the drought.

Aneurysm : Torn pages from a pessimist’s book

You said to me one day
“I should be locked in a mental asylum”
I asked you Why?
“because I’m not normal”
Why
“because I don’t feel anymore”
Why
“because I’ve been through too much”
Why
“I don’t know. I never deserved any of it.”
Why
“because I’m a good person and I never meant anyone harm.”
Why
“because I’ve always been that way”
Why
“because being good gives me happiness”
Why
“I like seeing people smile.”
Why
“Smiles reflect in my soul”
Why
“It makes me feel better about myself”
Why
“because I’m doing some good and making people happy”
Why
“because I don’t want to see anyone sad”
I changed the question finally
What about me?
You smiled.
On the blank against the question that read
Describe yourself in a line
You wrote
“I have the best conversations with myself”